Outside of Hickory, there are seven municipalities holding local elections this year.
There are open seats in Newton, Conover, Claremont, the town of Catawba, Maiden, Long View and Brookford
Five candidates for the races in those various towns and cities made submissions explaining why they are running and making the case for their campaigns.
The general election in Catawba County will be held Nov. 5.
Beth Rudisill, Maiden Town CouncilCandidate: Beth Poovey Rudisill, 52
Education: 1985 graduate of Maiden High School, 1991 graduate of UNC Charlotte, Bachelor of Arts & Bachelor of Science in Nursing, 2005 graduate of UNC Greensboro, Master’s of Science in Nursing.
Employment: Catawba Valley Health System, Hickory, N.C.
My work life has allowed me to have experience in budget planning, project management and professional development of others.
I have extensive experience working within groups to achieve desirable outcomes and I am often recognized by my colleagues as having a strong skill set to manage conflict and motivate others to accept change.
Our past mayor and town council members have done a stellar job in making Maiden a great place to live.
They have planted strong roots but strong roots must be cultivated to further develop and grow.
My platform will be, “Build our Future,” build it through business and industry development, explore the options of obtaining another grocery store and more restaurant choices for our town. Build our future through revitalization of our downtown area and continuation of programs and events that interest and benefit the citizens of our community. I love this little town we call home, and I am committed to be a leader in building its future. I am confident my experience would be an asset to the town council of Maiden.
Brenda Powell, Conover City CouncilBrenda Powell, a lifetime resident of Conover, is excited to be running for Conover City Council.
Brenda believes there is no better place to live, work and raise a family than Conover, North Carolina.
Brenda has long been an active participant in bettering the community of Conover, making contributions to the work of local nonprofits like Backpack Program and Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry, aiding in efforts hosted by the city such as chairing her community’s neighborhood watch, and even starting organizations and activities that will better her local community by offering support and services like the Straight-Up Boys Club and currently Read OUT, a partnership bringing the services of Backpack Program, Corner Table, and Catawba County Library to her neighborhood throughout the summer.
Brenda brings a wealth of experience in addressing community needs in practical and creative ways. Areas of particular interest to Brenda as she seeks a position on Conover City Council are: better economic and job development and training opportunities for Conover citizens, engaging opportunities and activities for young people, and stronger connections and communication between our communities, city government, and businesses.
Priorities for Brenda are transportation, public safety, and business relations and economic growth.
Brenda will undoubtedly bring a fresh, creative, and collaborative perspective to the Conover City Council with a focus on building a more inclusive and innovative community that will enable Conover to thrive in the future.
To learn more about Brenda’s platforms, follow the work of Brenda Powell, or become more involved in the campaign please visit her website: https://bpcampaign.com/bpowell-campaign or find us on Facebook: Committee to Elect Brenda Powell.
Roy Johnson, Newton City CouncilI am running for Newton City Council so that I can work for the citizens of Newton to provide the best affordable city services, plan for the future and work for the best quality of life in our city!
With my past city council experience and business experience, I have the background and knowledge to serve as one of your council members.
Working together, citizens, mayor, council, and city staff we can continue Newton’s bright future!
Spouse: Debra Johnson
Education: B.A. degree-political science-Catawba College (Salisbury) One year graduate program for public administration-Appalachian State University
Work: Retired specialty pharmaceutical representative
Experience: Elected to Newton City Council-1999, 2001, and 2005; former member of Newton Board of Adjustment; served on host committee for 1999 Special Olympics World Summer Games; member of Newton sesquicentennial committee; served as council representative on Newton recreation board and served as council representative for air quality board with Western Piedmont Council of Governments
» Support current businesses and recruit new companies and businesses with higher paying jobs.
» Continue with the downtown development plans.
» Work with city staff, merchants, property owners, the economic development council, and the county to achieve these goals
» Upgrade, extend, and add customers to our existing water and sewer services. This would provide for new customers and help to control utility rates.
» Use the current utility upgrade plan and develop a long-term plan with shared cost and participation incentives for the next 5 to 10 years.
» Repair existing roads and sidewalks, and add new sections when possible.
» Use Powell Bill funding, grants, stormwater funds, and other funding options to increase the amount of projects done each year
» Support future automation and upgrades to our electric system. (Current plan in place)
» Continue to update and support our emergency services with the police and fire departments. Provide department needs.
» Support the current parks and recreation plan, along with development of future growth and needs. Upgrades needed and greenway extension opportunities
» Work with the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the county on the planning for development of the Highway 16 and 10 corridors as they are expanded to four lanes in the future. The development of these areas will provide increased visitors and growth opportunities for Newton.
» Provide best possible city services with awareness and understanding of the impact of rates and property taxes on the citizens of Newton
Yerby Ray, Newton City CouncilRay, 50, who is a permit compliance officer for the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, has been interested in operations of city government for the last three decades.
“I started attending Newton City Council meetings in the early 1990s and have been following the ongoing and emerging issues ever since,” Ray said.
In addition to following Newton’s municipal functions, Ray was a volunteer firefighter for the city from 1987 through 2001. He also was a member and chaired the city of Newton Parks and Recreation Commission.
The candidate said that ongoing concerns about spending issues are a focal point of his council run but not exclusively.
“There are additional looming issues that face our city than spending money on projects, we need to attract industry, decrease crime, help our senior citizens, and get more people involved in our city affairs,” Ray said.
“I want there to be more public discussion in our decision-making processes. The citizens of Newton needs someone on the council who will not only ask the tough questions but ask the ones that every citizen needs the answers too. It is plain and simple we need more ‘sunshine,’ or dialogue so we know what is going on,” Ray announced.
“Our city continues to make decisions that are having a dramatic effect on the tax burden that is being passed on to the taxpayers,” Ray stated. “Our city tax rate is one of the highest in the county and that hurts attempts to lure new industries into the city.
“I want to grow our city, and have a great city, but we need to do so in a responsible manner that does not overtax the citizens and has a common-sense approach.
“Newton needs to attract a healthy blend of industries, commercial businesses, and residential neighborhoods so the tax burden can be spread evenly. I want to be a part of a city council who will vote to spend the hard-earned tax dollars like they came out of their own wallet,” Ray noted.
“In the last two years that has been much talk about improving the infrastructure for the city but for some reason or another all of the plans have focused on the downtown area.
“City roads, sidewalks, water and sewer mains throughout the entire city limits need attention.
“Newton is more than the downtown district,” Ray added.
“I want to strengthen our fire and police services so that Newton will be one of the safest cities in North Carolina. I also would like to make sure that all of our city employees are treated fairly and compensated accordingly,” Ray said.
Zane Hudson, Mayor of MaidenZane Hudson is hoping to be elected the new mayor of Maiden.
He served on the Maiden Town Council for 12 years, represented Maiden as a member of the Western Piedmont Council of Governments and served four years as mayor.
Zane is dedicated to the town and would like to see it continue to improve and prosper. Zane is married to Darlene Hudson; they have five children, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Zane has resided on or made residency on Main Street since 1979. He attends East Maiden Baptist Church where he serves as a deacon.
Zane is a retired volunteer firefighter for Maiden and retired from the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office Department where he remains a reserve officer. He now works part-time as a motorcoach operator.
Zane is a member and past master of the Maiden Masonic Lodge #592, Scottish Rite Charlotte Temple.
As a member of the Catawba County Shriners Club and past president, he now serves as captain of the Tripsters, a unit that transports children and parents to the Shriners Hospitals in Greenville, South Carolina and Cincinnati, Ohio.
He serves as chairman of the Community Resource Council of the Catawba Correctional Unit.